October 21, 2013

Dear Family,
Wow, A lot of news to share from this week, I am kicking myself because I forgot to bring my daily planner to emails so I am kinda forgetting everything that happened this past week!Ill do my best to remember the highlights, but I may have to fill in on any missing details next week! because it was really a great week last week, very eventful and right now just kinda feels like a blur!
So, the biggest news is that is was transfers yesterday, so our preparation day was moved to today! I will be spending the last 6 weeks of my mission in the Bankstown 1st ward! I cannot believe it! In case you have forgotten, this was the last ward that I served in! I really loved it here alot! Also, I will be training a brand new missionary! I wish I could tell you more about him, but he is not even in australia yet! gets here tommorrow morning! Ill be honest, I am a bit nervous about training, I am just thinking about how much of an influence my trainer had on me, so I recognize how great of a responsibility this is. Ill try to do my very best!
It looks like things will be a bit different here in bankstown from a few months ago. 3 months ago it was just elder bennison and I and now there is 8 elders in the ward! seriously! 8! its crazy, so we’ll see what that means as far as the work goes! What is amazing to hear is that a family that I taught here, the Aiken family (Bruce and sarah are the parents and two kids named angela and thomas) were baptised this past weekend! I am so incredibly happy about this! Its so wonderful to see an entire family that I have taught come into the church 🙂 and I am glad I will be here to help them along as new members. They actually just live down the road from us now! my companion and I will be staying at a flat that is brand new to the mission, yesterday felt like christmas opening up and setting up all new appliances and supplies for the apartment, it was great! I have never had so much new stuff all at once!
 SO, anyway, Ill definitely fill you in more next week with my new companion and about everything thats happening in bankstown!
IMG_0344I just want to take a second to say how grateful I am for the chance to serve in bathurst branch, I am also glad that I got one more chance to speak in sacrament meeting before I left. The people there are such incredible examples to me, I keep thinking to myself that I will probably be looking to them as examples of the faithful devoted saints of this church for the rest of my life. They really are very special people there, it was an honor to be a part of re-opening that area to missionary work, It was a constant miracle that unfolded before my eyes each day as I watched the work slowly build and grow, mostly due to the sacrifice and dedication of the members there who supported us every step of the way. Those people make me want to be a better man, there must be a reason the Lord wanted me to serve in this branch, and I am sure it was at least part of it was to teach and to build me. I wont let this experience and these lessons be wasted on me! I hope I can be like them, faithful, consistent saints no matter the circumstance or opposition.
I dont know why, but I just dont really feel like I have alot of words in me at the moment, so ill probably have to save everything else for newxt weeks letter, but Ill finish with one more note! we got to go to the temple this morning, I had not been in several months, and it was the first time I have seen the new video presentation (which totally blew me away, its the same exact thing as before, but so very well done). This was a very special experience for me, I am so amazed that the very first day here in my new area was the mortdale zone temple trip, how lucky is that? 🙂 Anyway, This morning was a very special experience for me, as you can imagine right now is a very… i dont know how to word it… significant? time for me on my mission, coming to a new area, thinking back on the amazing happenings of the last 23 months of my life, looking forward to my future life and everything that includes, thinking about how I can make my final few weeks of the mission the most productive and meaningful, kinda stressing about how I can be a good trainer and support and friend to my new companion.. I have a lot on my mind these days… ALOT, and I cannot tell you how much those few hours in the temple meant to me, I want to go back again tommorrow! haha, There is an incredible peace and power within the walls of the Lord’s house, I really cannot explain it, like I said, I just want to go back! Anyway, I thought of something I heard a few weeks ago… I cannot even remember who said it or if it was a quote or what, but someone said that they have gone to the temple many times in their life, sometimes they have gone simply out of duty, sometimes it felt like a chore or responsibility to go, but never in their life have they left the temple without feeling uplifted, endowed with strength, and with joy…IMG_0300
Anyway, I just want everyone who reads this to know how happy I feel at the moment, about everything in my life. I am kinda just in awe of alot of it, I cannot really understand why I have been so fortunate and blessed, especially reccently, I just am once again so reassured of how mindful our heavenly father is of us, how much he loves us, its just one of those times that all those blessings seem to have aligned for me in a very profound way. I love this mission so very much, I love the Lord so much. Anyway, thats all the words I got in me for the moment, struggling to get past this very reflective mood I am in at the moment, haha, I wish you could see inside my head.
I love you all, have a wonderful week,
Elder Ryan Faulkner
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